What is the Best Waterproof Tarp?

Protection from rain, snow, and ice is important. You want dry firewood for your stove or fireplace. You don’t want to go camping and end up with water coming through the roof. You need to keep your construction equipment dry. Regardless of the reason, you need a tarp that is going to do the job and stand up to the conditions. The best waterproof tarp is the one that closely matches your needs.

Water-Resistant vs. Water-Repellent vs. Waterproof Tarps

Think about the tarps you’ve seen in the stores. The labeling on those affordable tarps often says water and UV resistant or are water-repellent. Does that mean they’re waterproof though? People often misunderstand this. Waterproof, water-repellent, and water-resistant are not the same.

Water-resistant tarps can resist some water from getting through, but some may be able to penetrate the tarp. It’s your lowest level of protection against water.

Water-repellent tarps repel water. The coating on the tarp repels water, but if that coating loses strength, water may get through. You may want to reapply the coating from time to time to maintain the level of water-repellent. Our water-repellent canvas tarp is treated with an oil and wax mixture to repel water, but that coating can stain materials. When the coating wears off, you’ll need to purchase some Canvak and recoat the canvas.

When you want waterproof tarps, you’re aiming for one of three types. They’re all made from some form of vinyl be it PVC or vinyl-laminated polyester. They’re the only type of tarps to look at when you’re shopping for a waterproof tarp.

What Are the Best Waterproof Tarps?

What are the best tarps? Start by deciding why you want it. Different tarp weights impact how helpful it will be. A 13-ounce tarp won’t stand up to winds the way an 18-ounce one will. This weight is based per square yard and isn’t indicative of the weight of the full tarp.

Some people put up tarps in the winter to keep snow, rain, and ice from building up on a covered deck. Construction sites need to keep winds and snow out of areas the contractors are working in. It helps keep them warm and keeps power tools dry. You might want a waterproof tarp for covering lawn furniture. Here is a closer look at the tarps you should consider.

#1 – Clear PVC Tarp

A clear PVC curtain is heavy at 18-ounces. It’s UV-treated, waterproof, and resists rips and tears. It is clear though, so the sun will get through. What are they best for?

  • Walls that block rain but allow natural lighting on a construction site or home.
  • Enclosing a covered deck or patio.
  • Keeping the cold wind from getting into the house through gaps around older doors and windows during the winter.

#2 – Vinyl Laminated Polyester Tarp

A vinyl laminated polyester tarp is waterproof. Chicago Canvas & Supply also heat seals the seams to make sure any seams are waterproof. They come in 13-ounce or 18-ounce weights.

The 13-ounce tarps are best for forming curtains inside a building. It’s not recommended that you use them outside in cold climates as they haven’t been UV treated. They also do not stand up to wind. For that reason, we’d urge you to look at the 18-ounce tarps.

The UV treatment on an 18-ounce vinyl laminated polyester tarp makes it a better choice for outdoor use. It’s also heavier and handles abrasion from blowing ice and snow and isn’t likely to rip if it’s windy.

The 18-ounce vinyl-laminated tarp is our pick for these functions:

  • Adding a temporary wall to a covered deck in the winter without needing natural light
  • Covering outdoor lawn furniture
  • Covering hay and woodpiles
  • Covering farm equipment and lawnmowers

#3 – Iron Horse Tarps

Iron Horse polyester tarps are tough. The tarps have a silicone coating that allows them to be waterproof but breathable. This makes them mildew-resistant too. They’re also UV coated. Use Iron Horse tarps for these purposes:

  • Protect boats and vehicles during the winter.
  • Cover wicker lawn furniture that is more likely to get mildew stains.
  • Protect lawn equipment that doesn’t fit in a shed or garage.

Trust in Our Experts to Help You Find the Best Waterproof Tarp

Still not sure which is the best waterproof tarp for your needs? Let us help you. In addition to having a range of colors and sizes, we can customize the tarp to the size you need and we match competitor prices if you find an identical product for less. We’re happy to go over your options and help guide you to the right size and tarp material. Call Chicago Canvas at 1-866-389-2218.